An index measuring South Florida home prices rose 13.5 percent in August from a year ago — another promising sign for the region's re-energized housing market.
The annual increase in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties was virtually unchanged from July, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. The fast price appreciation occurring in recent months has slowed, though officials say that's to be expected.
Despite rising prices over the past year and a half, values in the tri-county area are off 39 percent from the 2006 peak, according to the index.
South Florida homebuyers stormed back into the market in 2012, convinced that prices had hit bottom. Investors helped drive up prices so swiftly that some analysts worried about another bubble.
But investors are starting to retreat because the higher prices are eating into their profits. And homeowners are testing the market, giving buyers more choices and alleviating intense competition that had led to the run-up in prices.
Prices increased in August across all 20 metro areas nationwide tracked by Case-Shiller. Las Vegas led the country with a 29.2 percent annual increase.
The Case-Shiller index, considered a leading measure of U.S. home prices, does not include prices for condominiums and lags local Realtor board data by a month.
Last week, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said the median price for Broward County existing homes in September was $270,000, a 32 percent increase from a year ago. In Palm Beach County, the median was $250,000, up 11 percent.
© 2013 Sun-Sentinel
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